Ground Control to Major Tom
Today’s rant actually comes about from a conversation I had with my dad earlier in the day. We were on our way to lunch and the subject of connectivity came up. We both were talking about how society today is certainly different than that of when he was a kid (50’s and 60’s). The difference we keyed in on was that of connectivity with our cell phones vs. connectivity with others when you are with them.
If you are one of those that whips out a cell phone every 5 seconds to check how popular you think you are (like me), you may realize when you step back how ridiculous you look. My uncle made a very astute observation the other day about iPhones and other smartphones. He brought up the point that wherever you go now, people are always constantly on their phones. It could be at the mall, the ballpark, the city streets, even at the bar or restaurant. Everyone’s faces are lit up because their screens emit all of the light. Some may ask the question, “what is so important, that it could not wait a little amount of time?” These folks are valid in their thinking but we must first take a look at what society used to be like when my dad and uncle were growing up.
The 60’s and 70’s yielded some crazy times and movements that grew not from social media or even the news media, they grew from word of mouth. People with bullhorns seeking others approval of their plan or their “way” dominated the scene some 40 years ago. Movements spread from coast to coast because people literally drove there and told their story. Nobody had a cell phone or could fathom what a cell phone would even look like. When you were in places such as a mall, restaurant, city street, or ballpark people talked to each other instead of on their cell phones. People were interested in what the next person had to say.
Fast forward now to 2011 where social media outlets dominate the culture and we now live in a world where we are less concerned with whatever whoever we are with has to say and more concerned with what we have in our inboxes or our texts. We claim to be more well connected with others and yes, while we may have resources now that people of the generations before us would only dream of, society as a whole seems married if not ensconced in their phones or iPads or iPods.
So the very simple question that comes of this that I thought about all day is: Are we a more connected society today than we were when my father was growing up? Can this movement toward more technology in our lives be labeled as progress? I want to get your thoughts.
Until the next one,